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Strengths and Weaknesses of Mobile Learning

1101414_40995791.jpgHere’s the thing about mobile learning … it’s a buzz word.  It’s one that we’ve all heard and probably one that we’ve all said at least a time or two, or a hundred.  I can admit that it’s been known to slip out of my own mouth on occasion.

But what does this buzz word actually mean?

And, probably more importantly how can we put it to use in our own little E-Learning world?  These are the questions we answer today.  We’re going to take a closer look at both the strengths and weaknesses of mobile learning as well as look at the opportunities this new technology will offer us all.

Continue reading Strengths and Weaknesses of Mobile Learning

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Weblearning LMS 9.63 Update Sneak Peek

If you have been using Weblearning for any length of time, you are probably used to getting 1 or 2 updates every year with a mixture of new features and interface enhancements.

Our upcoming update (9.63) is due out by the end of this year, and includes dozens of enhancements (and some behind the scenes stuff), and a major rehaul of the admin interface (and probably some new course design changes as well).

We realize that most of you are used to the interface the way it is (it has pretty much been the same for a few years now), so we tried really hard to keep the same workflow, while really beefing up the interface. So, I thought I would show off a hadful of screen shots to give you an idea of what it will look like (I will write another article talking about the new features).

Here is the new Home Screen (what you see when you first log in):

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Here is  a screen of the Module List – notice that plug-in modules can be managed from here now too:

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 Here is an example of a Plugin subtab – we moved from list-style to icon-style rendering.

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Here is the Account tab (overview). We moved the tab to the right (out of your way since it is most likely the least frequently used tab in your account). This makes room for a future tab-plugin ability.

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Each tab and sub-tab you are on also pulls dynamically relevant articles and  Q&A from the help section – this should help you along a bit if you are stuck on something (you will see those on the right panel).

Of course, nothing here is finalized (we are still working on it), but what I have shown you is pretty close if not exactly what it will look like when your system gets the update later this year.

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Distance Learning … Old School Style!

1185429_13825221.jpgI’ll admit, I can be a bit of a pessimist.  Not in a “glass is half full” kind of way but more in a “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” kind of way.

It’s just hard to shock me, and even harder to show me something new and different.

Well, I stand here before you today as a changed soul.

Why you ask?  Because a good friend managed not only to shock me recently, but to shake me right down to the center of my E-Learning core.

It all started with a phone call.  “You’ve got to see this!

See what?” I ask as I lean back in my chair, kicking a stray foot up onto the desk in front of me.

There aren’t words.“  Was the answer I received.

Continue reading Distance Learning … Old School Style!

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Approaches to Creating Effective Learning Objectives

1238452_46868173.jpgThe other day I had a bit of an epiphany of sorts that I would like to share with all my dear friends in the E-Learning world.  I was talking with a student when they asked me a very pointed and direct question that I wasn’t expecting.  Nor, as it turns out, was I prepared to answer it.

Curious as to what it was?

Simple….why? Continue reading Approaches to Creating Effective Learning Objectives

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5 Smart Habits for the E-Learning Professional

869401_90854159.jpgPeople ask me all the time about success and what that reality looks like.  It seems like a simple question, but think about it for a moment.  What does success look like for the typical E-Learning professional?

Is it someone with a full calendar of events and classes?  Is it a person who is well thought of?  Is it a bit of both?  Or is it something else entirely?

The truth is that at the end of the day, success is defined by the individual.  What you find successful will differ from the person next to you as you each have your own unique set of goals for your life.

Continue reading 5 Smart Habits for the E-Learning Professional

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Teaching vs. Storytelling … One in the Same?

1174415_19441857.jpgLet’s take a minute to go back … and for some of us I mean way back.  All the way back to a time when we sat gathered around our grandparents’ knees as we waited with baited breath to find out what happened next to our favorite characters.  Back to the days of storytelling and the magical moments those tales produced.

I’m betting even today you can remember every word.  I know I can.  I’ve even shared a few with the next generation, taking my place in a tradition that is as old as language itself.

This brings me to the question of the day.  When did we forget about the power of the story?  When did we forget that stories themselves are powerful teaching tools that can create memories which are both strong and lasting?

Continue reading Teaching vs. Storytelling … One in the Same?

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5 Shortcuts to Effective E-Learning

253947_2193.jpgThe other day I sat down to work on some new course content and ran straight into a solid brick wall.  It didn’t matter what I tried, my mind was a complete blank and words were simply not making their way onto the page in any way shape form or fashion.

Normally this wouldn’t be much more than a simple irritation but on this particular day it was giving me cause to panic. Continue reading 5 Shortcuts to Effective E-Learning

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Top 5 Things NOT To Do when Authoring E-Learning

1135124_28581582.jpgWe always talk about the things that we need to do.  Those little dotted “i and crossed “t type details that make us stand out from the pack as we strive to offer something special and exciting to our students.

But what about the other side of the coin?  What about those simple little habits that manage to slip unnoticed through the cracks as they chip away and undermine all of our hard work and dedication?  Why do we never talk about these things?

We all know they exist, yet year after year it becomes easier to ignore them altogether rather than take the time to deal with the issue right from the beginning. Continue reading Top 5 Things NOT To Do when Authoring E-Learning

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4 Ways to Mold Yourself into the World’s Most Ineffective Leader

1335583_42968226.jpgThis week, I am going off topic a bit to talk about leadership (which is indirectly related to e-learning, and more related to learning as a whole).

Question: do you know the number one criteria for career advancement in America?  Tenure.  Yep, park your rear in a chair long enough and someone is bound to promote you eventually.  The problem with this strategy is that leadership, unlike fine wine, does not get better with age.

Now, before you all break out the pitch forks and other sharp, spiky type items, let me explain what I mean by that. Continue reading 4 Ways to Mold Yourself into the World’s Most Ineffective Leader

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3 Ways E-Learning Will Look Different in 2013

1276359_74191928.jpgRemember what it was like to be little?  To be just another kid hanging out in the neighborhood and dreaming about what the future would look like?  Yeah, those were the days.  I don’t know about you, but I was pretty sure that the Jetsons were on to a thing or two!

Well my friends, the future is now.  We have arrived, not just into the next century, but into the second decade of the next century and its time for us to take a closer look at what that means to the would of E-Learning as a whole.

We may not be cruising around in flying cars just yet, but we do have a few extremely impressive new resources ready and waiting for us to both explore and incorporate.  So, without further ado, I give you E-Learning….the 2013 version!

Continue reading 3 Ways E-Learning Will Look Different in 2013

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The Apple Effect on E-Learning

1359351_76562943.jpgI remember my first Apple.  Well…it wasn’t mine per say, but it did grace the dusty back table of my fourth grade classroom and I lived for those scant 15 minutes a day spent creeping my way down the Oregon Trail.   I ruled that trail!

But that was it.  That is the single Apple related memory of my childhood.  And even beyond.  If we are being completely honest the idea of Apple as a brand didn’t even cross my mind again until the first iPod ads started working their way in front of my eyes.

Can I admit that they worked? 

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one of those shiny white boxes of goodness! Continue reading The Apple Effect on E-Learning

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Slidepoint.net Demo Presentation – No Flash Required!

As you are aware if you follow this blog, we are readying the slidepoint.net online presentation site – which is a site that enables anyone to create online presentations that do not require Flash (you can sign-up free)!

So of course, internally here, we have to use it and iron out any bugs and give usability feedback. So I thought I would share with you my first presentation created with slidepoint.net, entitled … Slidepoint Demo Presentation. Enjoy!

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Tips for Adding the Right Images to Your E-Learning Content

1083507_59176087.jpgWho doesn’t like pictures?  I like pictures.  Pictures are fun.  They add interest, they add depth and they are able to say a whole heck of a lot more than I am at a fraction of the word count.

Sounds like a win/win situation, right?  Well, it is .. but only if we are talking about the right pictures!

After all, this is not a one kind fits all kind of thing.  Not in the least.  I mean,  if a picture is going to shout out a 1000 words then you want to make extra sure that you know exactly what those words are going to be!

In short, you want this images you choose to enhance the quality of your E-Learning environment rather than Continue reading Tips for Adding the Right Images to Your E-Learning Content

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How to Insert a YouTube Video into Slidepoint

Here is a tutorial (created using Slidepoint) that shows you how to insert a YouTube video into a Slidepoint presentation:



What is SlidePoint? In short, SlidePoint enables you to visually create and assemble visually stunning, flash-like e-learning presentations, complete with images, text, video, narrations, and even animation effects – all online, and the end result does not require flash! You can, of course, integrate flash videos if you wish (as well as YouTube videos). You can use Slidepoint in your Weblearning LMS system, or as a stand-alone service here.

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The Weblearning LMS is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests (including your E-Learning Lessons). You can read the brochure, or to try it FREE, go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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SlidePoint App for Weblearning is Like PowerPoint Online

Our most ambitious Weblearning LMS plugin, over 2 years in development, the SlidePoint Online Presentation software for Weblearning is finally available.

Currently, it is available solely as a plug-in for our Weblearning LMS/E-Learning System, but work is already underway for a stand-alone cloud-based version (will be hosted on www.slidepoint.net).

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So What is SlidePoint?

In short, SlidePoint enables you to visually create and assemble visually stunning, flash-like e-learning presentations, complete with images, text, video, narrations, and even animation effects – all online, and the end result does not require flash (in other words, works on mobile phones and tablets, including iPad)! You can, of course, integrate flash videos if you wish (as well as YouTube videos).

Creating interactive e-learning presentations, slideshows, training tutorials, and marketing slideshows is easy with SlidePoint.

Will have some more examples soon, but for now, here are a few SlidePoints: Sample1, Sample2

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The Weblearning LMS is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests (including your SlidePoint Presentations). You can read the brochure, or to try it FREE, go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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Use PowerPoint Backgrounds in SlidePoint

Now that we have released the SlidePoint Online Presentation software for Weblearning, many of you want to use your PowerPoint backgrounds in your SlidePoint Presentations.

So, although I am not an expert at creating great e-learning presentations, I put one together using SlidePoint - which shows you how to get your PowerPoint backgrounds into SlidePoint so you can use them as a Presentation skin (while showing a bit of what can be done using SlidePoint).



What is SlidePoint? In short, SlidePoint enables you to visually create and assemble visually stunning, flash-like e-learning presentations, complete with images, text, video, narrations, and even animation effects – all online, and the end result does not require flash! You can, of course, integrate flash videos if you wish (as well as YouTube videos).

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The Weblearning LMS is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests (including your SlidePoint Presentations). You can read the brochure, or to try it FREE, go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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To Do or Not To Do … Should an Educator Blog?

960692_93021290.jpgTo blog…or not to blog?  As the title suggests it poses quite the perplexing question.  After all, as educators our blogs have the potential to both affect our students as well as offer them a type of behind the scenes glimpse into our minds.

But is that a good thing?

Do we really want to open ourselves up to that type of scrutiny and, in doing so, invite the dialogue that comes hand-in-hand with any type of public forum?

I think so.

In fact, I think that being an educator makes the reasons to blog more important, more interesting and even more compelling.  It allows us to express ideas and open conversations that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.  It allows us to share our voice.  Now, let’s talk about why we should…..

Reasons Educators Should Blog:

Continue reading To Do or Not To Do … Should an Educator Blog?

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SlidePoint for Weblearning LMS To Be Released

We are just about ready to release our newest plug-in for the Weblearning LMS – called SlidePoint.

The best way to describe it is this – it’s like an online version of PowerPoint geared specifically towards e-learning.

In short, SlidePoint enables you to visually create and assemble visually stunning, flash-like e-learning presentations, complete with images, text, video, narrations, and even animation effects – all online, and the end result does not require flash! You can, of course, integrate flash videos if you wish (as well as YouTube videos).

Another cool benefit is – your presentations will also run on mobile devices.

Here is a screen shot of the SlidePoint Editor:

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We expect SlidePoint to be available in the next several weeks. In the meantime, here is a sample presentation I created with the (internal) beta version of SlidePoint – not the greatest presentation ever created, but a light sampling of some stuff you can do (and as it’s being delivered outside of a course, the save/exit button doesn’t function):



Here is another sample presentation
..that demonstrates a custom button bar, as well as the ability to resize and scale the presentation like you can with videos (even though it is not a video): http://bit.ly/rrCVXq



..and this sample presentation talks about some advanced animations like rotate, skew and scale – and does so while advancing automatically from slide to slide (like a video): http://bit.ly/nsocRu

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The Weblearning LMS is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests (including your E-Learning Lessons). You can read the brochure, or to try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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3 Ways to Improve Student Interaction in E-Learning

860593_40313047.jpgIf there is one so called downside to E-Learning, or even to distance learning as a whole, it is the lack of peer-to-peer interactions among participants.  And, while some instructors may not miss this facet of a traditional classroom, I often find myself longing for that one small piece of the “good ol’ days!”

Why?  Because it worked!

There is just something about sitting down with your peers as you all work your way towards a common goal.  Something that helps to drive the information home while increasing retention rates and improving the overall student experience.  It is a tried and true method of teaching and it is one that I try to replicate as closely as possible in my own E-Learning classroom.

Continue reading 3 Ways to Improve Student Interaction in E-Learning

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Checklist for Developing Strong E-Learning Content

815492_computer_frustration.jpgDo you ever feel like you’re just not on your game?  Like the stars just aren’t aligning and nothing is coming together the way you had envisioned?

It happens to the best of us.  Some days every word I type seems to drip with wisdom and wit, while others leave me scratching my head as I struggle to spell the word “who“!

But here’s the deal.  I never sit down planning on creating a bad E-Learning initiative.  Though honestly?  It happens!  There are times when I’m just not on my game and things just don’t come together like I want them to. Continue reading Checklist for Developing Strong E-Learning Content

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Teaching the Next Generation

706347_98444686.jpgThe other day I was issued a challenge….by a nine year old child.  This child, one who has proven to be wise beyond their years, issued their challenge by voicing just one simple word….why?

Why…..?  It has power, you can’t deny it.  But, before we get too far into the question, I think I need to back up a bit.

See I spent the weekend hanging out with family, father’s day and all that, and while I was there my sister roped me into helping her oldest with their homework.  Said child was not super enthusiastic about the prospect and was definitely not looking forward to writing their times tables for what probably felt like the 500th time. Continue reading Teaching the Next Generation

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9 Handy Tips for Effective E-Learning Slideshows

1094329_72034532.jpgIn the past we have spent time talking about how the fatal flaw of many E-Learning PowerPoints is found not with the audience, but with the presentation itself.  They are boring!  And boredom my dear friends is NOT an effective teaching technique!

So today we are going to take things one step further.  Instead of looking at what makes PowerPoint bad, we are going to spend our time learning about what we can do to make it good.  And we are going to do that by taking a closer look at Gange’s Nine Steps of Instructional Design.

Never heard of it?  You’ll love it.  See, Gange has done a good bit of the work for us and has laid out a pretty great plan when it comes to building an effective presentation.   His steps are concise, they are well thought out and they create an ideal foundation for us to build from when creating our own E-Learning initiatives.  So without further ado, let’s go see what Gange has to say about building that perfect E-Learning presentation!

Continue reading 9 Handy Tips for Effective E-Learning Slideshows

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Is it Time to Say Yes to Virtual Classrooms?

990536_37770166.jpgIn the world of E-Learning, no issue seems to be hotter than that of the virtual classroom.  The debate, on both sides of the table, is as to which side offers more benefit to its participants and which option is able to facilitate a higher level of learning.

Can you guess where I stand?

But this post isn’t really about my own personal opinion.  It’s about the reality that for a variety of reasons, virtual is the wave of the future.  Travel costs are up and revenues are down, meaning that for many companies on-site training initiatives are being forced to evolve and change along with the rest of the organization. Plus, as companies are changing, cutting back and installing less bodies in a single geography, they are having to rethink how they approach their workforce.  On site training is no longer realistic in many cases and definitely not cost effective. Continue reading Is it Time to Say Yes to Virtual Classrooms?

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Trends for the Future of E-Learning

1341348_84869156.jpgHave you ever wished for you very own crystal ball?  I’ll admit, its a dream that I hold near and dear to my humble heart.  Doesn’t have to be big, just something that I can carry around in my pocket to let me know what’s coming….and what I can do about it!

I mean just think about how handy that would be.  Want an inside look at tomorrow’s weather?  No problem!  How about a clear picture of the morning commute for the next 6 weeks?  Piece of cake!  Truly the uses are endless and that is before we even get to the over-the-top craziness of lotto numbers and sports scores! Continue reading Trends for the Future of E-Learning

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Study Mode Quizzes Now Available in Weblearning LMS

Here is a short video that shows a preview of our new Study Mode Quiz plug-in for Weblearning LMS – just released as I write this. As always, our LMS learning modules are designed to work on mobile devices (meaning, they do not use Flash).

In this case, if you are one of our Test Pro Developer customers, the study mode quiz should seem familiar – since Test Pro Developer has had the ‘Practice Mode’ tests for quite some time – and we have used those as our model for this plugin. So, if you are looking to move your users from Windows Desktop Software learning to Online Learning, and want to give them a similar experience, you can now leverage Weblearning, with this Study Mode Quiz plugin (as well as the recently released Flash Card Plugin which mimics Test Pro Developer’s Flashcard mode).

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The Weblearning LMS is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests (including your E-Learning Lessons). To try it FREE, go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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How to Leverage Social Media into E-Learning

1106018___network__1.jpgSocial Media.   The big buzz word.  The one that everyone’s talking about, but almost no one is ready to face.  It’s like this huge elephant has set up shop in the world of E-Learning and we are all doing our very best to ignore that it ever showed up in the first place.

My question is simple…..why? Continue reading How to Leverage Social Media into E-Learning

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Say Hello to the Mobile E-Learning Revolution

1128265_78062567.jpgNot long ago, the iPad was nothing more than speculation.  It was spec drawings on techie blogs and whispers at conventions that drew our interest and peaked our curiosity.

Some claimed that this would be the device that finally ended Apple’s reign of supremacy. Others thought that this device would open up a whole new market segment that revolutionized the way we viewed personal computing as a whole.

One year later, the iPad – and tablet devices in general (and even smartphones) have in fact changed the way we look at, and think about computing.  It has made us realize that computers can be created to fully reflect their users, and that devices can be customized to meet their needs.

Continue reading Say Hello to the Mobile E-Learning Revolution

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Death by PowerPoint?

623446_21961390.jpgThere is a great debate going on in the world of learning.  Not just E-Learning, but the educational community as a whole.

The argument? That our generation is managing to single-handedly demolish the learning process through the use (or misuse as the case may be!) of a single powerful tool.

The great offender?

No other than our tried and trustworthy friend, PowerPoint.

This debate was brought to my attention in the last week as I sat through a presentation on this very subject.  What struck me as odd (even a bit surreal) about the whole situation was that the presenter of the day was making his argument against PowerPoint….with PowerPoint!  He stood there in front of us spouting off reason after reason as to why we should abandon this tool as a whole even as he himself  was using it to make his point. Continue reading Death by PowerPoint?

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Weblearning LMS Hosted Plans with SCORM Now Available

scorm1.gifA few weeks ago, we released the Weblearning Enterprise Gold Edition, our first LMS offering that includes the ability to use SCORM content. The Weblearning Enterprise Gold Edition is essentially a Weblearning LMS license for your own server.

This week, we have released two new Weblearning Annual Hosted plans that include SCORM – the Weblearning Ultimate Plan, and Weblearning Server Plan (the Server plan includes a dedicated managed server for high volume e-learning delivery).

You can check out the plans (along with our new plans that don’t include SCORM) on our Weblearning Packages page.

For those of you that don’t know what SCORM is, I will write up a few articles in the near future explaining how it can benefit you and your Weblearning system, but for now, you can read about SCORM here.

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The Weblearning Learning Management System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests. To try it FREE,  go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.

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Are You Designing Effective Questions for E-Learning?

centang-check-checklist-equiry-list-poll-task-test-todo-write-icon.pngOver the years we have come to think of tests as necessary bench marks.  Ones that, right, wrong or indifferent are part of the learning process and an indispensable facet of progressing through any type of education.

And, while this may be true, some of us probably are not stopping to think about whether or not we are doing it right.  I mean, sure, the students have to worry about that each and every time they sit down for an exam … but what about us (the teachers/trainers of the world)?

It is our responsibility to share the information, so is it not also our responsibility to also test effectively?  To not just throw out questions, but to test for comprehension?  For true understanding and mastery? Continue reading Are You Designing Effective Questions for E-Learning?

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